In a welcome blast of sunshine between downpours, an excursion to the fringe stages on the southern slopes of the Glastonbury site provides a welcome relief from the liquid mud lakes and crowd crushes around the main arenas.
Thunder, lightning and heavy downpours over Glastonbury right now. Deep joy for the 125,000 people already onsite, with more arriving every hour. It seems the gods of rock are angry. And they are not the only ones making a racket.
Lots to dig into this week, not least a song to sample from the Hiss Golden Messenger album that I’ve been alluding to for so long. Strong Ronnie Lane vibes there, perhaps. Among some biggish new entries here, some lesser known names to check out, too: Jennifer Castle; 75 Dollar Bill’s weird adaptation of desert blues; the new Blonde Redhead album that increasingly feels like their strongest in an age; and Hurray For The Riff Raff, magnificent on Letterman.
“Welcome to an evening of country and eastern,” smiles Robert Plant as he gestures expansively round this fabled Paris venue, taking in not just the lively capacity crowd gathered here tonight but also to his latest musical collaborators, The Sensational Space Shifters.
When Graeme Thomson sent us his interview with Eric Clapton, it was not, to be honest, quite what we expected. We anticipated a poignant chat about Clapton’s old friend JJ Cale, to tie in with the forthcoming tribute album, “The Breeze”. As it transpired, though, the album was just a jumping-off point for one of the most unexpected and revealing Clapton pieces most of us can remember.
I suspect I wasn’t the only one who, last night, came out of the World Cup rabbit hole to discover that Gerry Goffin had died. As has become a slightly weird but nonetheless heartfelt tradition – a public display of mourning and taste, I suppose – I posted a favourite song onto Twitter: the Byrds’ version of “Goin’ Back”.
It’s not a situation I could have predicted 20 years ago, I’ll admit, but there’s a point I reach quite often on Friday afternoons when all I really want to hear is The Grateful Dead. As default, I’ll cue up something from 1972 – the Wembley Empire Pool set from that year, say – mention it on Twitter, then receive a lot of static from my Dead friends who see me as something of a lightweight for clinging so conservatively to that year.
As an artist, Nick Cave has mastered many different disciplines – musician, novelist and screenwriter among them – but arguably his greatest accomplishment has been the on-going management of ‘Nick Cave’.
Such has been the drooling media focus on Kate Bush this week, it might be tough to imagine British music journalists listening to anything else these past few days. I'm not, in fairness, exempt from the hysteria: here's...